It is National Hamburger Week, and also National Hamburger Month! Marisa and I were too broke to take in any of the festivities being held by many NYC restaurants. But I had some spare home-ground beef from my last batch in the freezer, and we decided to celebrate on our own. Home ground burgers, with 12 month aged cheddar, bacon, and jalapeno ketchup. I won’t bore you with those details, you can look through my old post about grinding the meet and making burgers. But I will tell you about the side dish.
Marisa and I got a meat grinder attachment for the Kitchen-aid from our wedding registry. I couldn’t wait to use it, and this was my chance. A cold snowy day, the perfect opportunity to make some freshly ground burgers. The secret is really simple, use the good stuff, and keep it simple.
Good meat, good cheese, and good rolls. For the cheese, I went for some thick sliced Land O Lakes American from the deli counter. The rolls, I went with Martin’s Potato Rolls, and now for the meat…
Superbowl Sunday, one of the biggest eating holidays of the year. Since I am an obsessive Knicks fan, I don’t really have time for sports other than Basketball. So the Superbowl is usually the only NFL game I watch every year. I always enjoy it, but never enough to watch football religiously.
While football isn’t my favorite, food and beer are near the top of my list, so I usually use the Superbowl to make my chicken wings, which I seem to tweak a little every year.
February in New York is way too cold to grill them, so I am reduced to baking the wings in the oven. I don’t really feel the need to deep-fry hot wings. I don’t find the added fat really worth it.
After being given a dried Ghost pepper from my friend Rob a few weeks before, I was a little scared to use it. I figured a 4lb pack of chicken wings would be perfect. Since it is a large pack, it wouldn’t overtake the wings.
My method for chicken wings is to try to make them unbearably spicy. This is because they never turn out as hot as I expect. So if I try to make them too hot for anyone to want to eat, they usually turn out just right.
I started with a whole pack of wings, and cut them up into wingette and drumettes, and toss the tips. It feels a little barbaric cutting through joints, but it saves some bucks, and doesn’t take too long. I give them all a rinse, to get the blood off.
To prepare my spices, I grinded up the dried ghost pepper, some chipotle peppers, and a few other dried whole chili’s in my Magic Bullet. Added some salt, black pepper, cayenne, red pepper flakes, and onion powder.
The next day, I added some peanut oil into the pan and baked them for 25 minutes, flipped the wings, and cooked for another 15 minutes.
Then I made a sauce of butter, hot sauce, lemon juice, salt, pepper, brown sugar, and Worcestershire. My wife had me a little worried that these wings would be too hot, so I added much more honey than I normally would. I cooked it a bit on the stove to thicken it up, and melt the butter.
When the wings were all finished, I poured the sauce in the pan with the wings. Got them all covered. I let them sit for a bit, and put them in the fridge, since our guests were not coming for another 2 hours. When our guests arrived, I heated them all the way through, and let the sauce cook into the wings and served.
The end product was a deliciously sweet and spicy wing. The extra honey, gave it a really nice sweet flavor, and the peppers gave it nice flavor and bite. I was really happy how the wings turned out, and will probably follow a similar path with all my other hot wings, including my grilled hot wings.
Here is some food related Artwork I have done recently. I did not eat these.
The Burger Club
Astoria – Queens
Braised short rib french fries
Topped with smoked mozzarella, crispy prosciutto and basil pesto
Topped with slow-cooked pulled pork, pepper jack cheese and homemade coleslaw
Southern Fried Chicken
Growing up in Queens, I always liked fried chicken, but never really loved it. I only really had KFC and Popeye’s. This all changed in 2007, after visiting The Lady & Sons.
That’s right, Paula Deen’s restaurant in Savannah, Georgia. Later in that same road trip, I had my second favorite fried chicken ever, in Dollywood* (who knew.) Since then I have been pretty obsessed with fried chicken, but never really thought to make it myself.
*That road trip also started my Barbecue obsession, but that’s another story.
One of my Favorite places in Queens. Manor Oktoberfest of Forest Hills. Great German food, as well as a great Draft selection of (mostly) German beers, and a ton more by the bottle. The Beer comes in 3 sizes, half liters, liters, and 2.5 Liter boots (which I conquered twice.) This was the first time I didn’t get the Pastrami Reuben. Thanks to Living Social, I got $10 off, to boot!
Pastrami Meatballs over Sauerkraut
The chicken thighs marinated in buttermilk, hot sauce, and my homemade chili powder for 4 hours.
Then I patted them dry, brushed them with some Olive Oil, and rubbed them with my spicy BBQ rub.
Finally, I prepared the grill for indirect grilling (all coals on one side of the grill.) I cooked them over the hot side to crisp the skin. Then I moved them over to the side with no coals, and closed the lid for 40 minutes.
Finally I brushed them with my homemade BBQ sauce, and cooked them on the hot side again for another 10 minutes, flipping them over and applying more sauce.